Sports psychology and the mind-body connection get a lot of lip but how often do you practice what is preached?
Tug McGraw once said, “You gotta believe!” and we do. We must believe in our talents and ourselves if we want to accomplish any of our dreams, not just in sports but in life as well. We must believe we can push the extra mile, run the extra set and trust both our bodies and minds to carry us through to the next level.
This belief is not just a physical manifesto, it’s a state of mind and we need to be of sound conviction to make it happen. We must recognize and apply the importance of our minds and our moods and how our moods affect our performances.
So, what happens when your day goes awry, something annoying or frustrating happens and as a result you spend the rest of the day in a foul mood?
You start binge eating, skip your workout and instead of going to Yoga you head to happy hour for a few too many, not the healthiest of choices. There are several strategies you can use to beat that bad mood and keep your performances on track.
Here are just a few.
First, talk it out. Talk about what has put you in a bad mood. If you are in a bad mood, then there’s obviously a reason for it. Pinpoint what’s got you down and, if you can, talk to a friend about it. Simply talking about your problem with someone will often make you feel many times better. Remember that keeping emotions bottled up often leads to unhealthy behaviors (overeating, smoking, excess alcohol), which seldom results in favorable fitness outcomes.
Beat a bad mood with exercise. Exercise is a great way to blow off steam and get you out of a bad mood. If you can make yourself do some exercise (not necessarily a full training session but even just a walk around the neighborhood) you will reap the benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, chemicals in your brain that make you feel good, so by doing some exercise you will automatically make yourself feel better.
Beat a bad mood with tunes. Everybody has some favorite music they listen to, from classical compositions to modern rock and hip hop. Listening to one of your favorite tracks, such as one that you associate with good times, people or places, will help draw you out of your mood and get you back on track.
Finally, avoid people who put you in a bad mood!
It might seem obvious, but there are some people who just have an ability to put you in a bad mood. These are toxic relationships. Those individuals that no matter how hard you try, how fast you run or how much weight you lose, you will never please. As the mind-body connection in sports is so strong, and a positive attitude and mood are vital for success, I tell my athletes, if your friends aren’t lifting you up, they’re dragging you down and if they’re dragging you down, they’re not real friends.
These people don’t deserve your time.
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